Sunday, January 29, 2017

Happy Lunar New Year!

Lucky cats and more at the Viet Hoa Shopping Center!
Superbowl weekend is an American tradition and this year's big game will be in Houston. Downtown, Midtown and NRG Park will be filled with football fanatics. If you don't want to join the fray but still want to take part in a celebration, consider a visit to Houston's southwest side for the free 2017 Lunar New Year of the Fire Rooster festivities, a 2000-year-old ritual that has a few years over Superbowl LI. It's also the largest Lunar New Year event in Texas!

The two-day event shares the same dates as Superbowl LI, February 4-5th, Saturday-Sunday from 10:30 am-6 pm at the Viet Hoa Center in the Beltway Plaza. Instead of cheerleaders, lion and dragon dance teams will show off their skills and lucky red firecrackers, drums, and gongs will welcome the lunar new year. Entertainment at this outdoor event also includes a kid zone, classical dance and music performances, and martial arts exhibitions. Check out the schedule and bring cash for the authentic Asian food served alongside football game staples like nachos and corn dogs. Take time to visit the massive Viet Hoa International grocery store full of Asian products, fresh produce, and decor.

Come and cast off 2016 and celebrate the good fortune awaiting in 2017!

Kathlyn

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sunday Open House, January 29th, 2-5 pm


Welcome home to this Woodland Heights property one block from the hike and bike trail, and a short walk to Travis Elementary. Gated side yard and sprawling front yard. Layout conducive to transforming den into a mother-in-law suite or a second master down. Huge kitchen at the heart of the home and large study off the formal living room. Stunning master retreat with sitting area and nursery or private study up.

Stop by the Open House this Sunday (1/29) 2-5 pm! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Understanding Your Credit Score


Are you considering making a major purchase, like buying a home, this year? If so, your credit score will likely come into play. An understanding of the basics can help you effectively monitor and manage it.
Credit Score 101
Your credit score will usually range from 300 to 850. It's derived from an algorithm that takes into account several factors, including payment history, the total debt owed and length of credit history.
Lenders use this three-digit number to predict risk and the likelihood that you'll repay your debt on time. The higher your credit score, the less risk you are and the lower your loan terms will be. For example, a person with a "good" credit score of 700 may have a lower interest rate and smaller required down payment than someone with a "poor" credit score of 400.
How to Improve Your Score
If you don't have much credit history or you have a few negatives on your report, consider these strategies to increase your score.
  • Pay all of your bills on time. Late payments can negatively impact your score.
  • Pay off debt where you can. The less debt you have, the lower your debt-to-income ratio.
  • Keep your credit card balances as low as possible, aiming to use no more than 30 percent of your available credit. And pay off as much as you can each month since higher balances can sink your score.
  • Review your credit report at least annually, and keep an eye out for mistakes and identity theft.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Open House this Sunday, January 22nd, 2-5 pm

Stop by the Open House this Sunday (1/22) 2-5 pm! 



Welcome home to this picture-perfect lovingly remodeled ranch in one of Houston's most charming and convenient communities close to the Medical Center, Galleria, and Downtown! With formal living in front and a large den in back, the floor plan is great for families. No neighbors behind - just green space for a private school! Super quiet street at the back of the neighborhood - let the kids play in the street out front worry-free! Make this your new home today! 


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Step-by-Step Guide to Creating an Emergency Binder


Do you know what vital information to have on hand in the event of a natural disaster or family emergency? When an unexpected situation arises, there's no time to sort through paperwork, no matter how essential it may be. Having everything you need in an organized emergency binder can streamline the process and give you peace of mind.
What to Include in an Emergency Binder
While there's no shortage of important family documents and household records, a true emergency calls for a few must-haves:
  • Vital records like birth certificates, driver's licenses, Social Security cards, naturalization documents, passports and child custody papers.
  • Insurance policies, including homeowners, renters, auto, life and health.
  • Property records such as real estate deeds, rental agreements, and vehicle titles and registration.
  • Financial documents like wills, trusts, powers-of-attorney and funeral instructions.
  • family emergency plan with contact information and predetermined meeting places.
Safely Storing Other Important Information
Some items, such as account passwords and a backup of critical computer files, aren't suited for a portable binder. Instead, house them in a secure location like a safety deposit box or lockbox. You can also include a home inventory list, contracts, business paperwork, tax returns and investment records.
Play it safe and include a recent photograph of every family member, along with fingerprints and dental records. You may also want to store valuable memorabilia, jewelry, and priceless family photos, letters and documents here as well.
There's no way to predict when misfortune will strike, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared. Set aside an afternoon to create an emergency binder that can help protect your family when time is of the essence.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Sunday Open Houses! January 8th, 2-5 pm


Open Houses in Woodland Heights, Willowbend, and Sienna Plantation


2108 White Oak Dr., Woodland Heights 
Make this beautiful Woodland Heights property your new home sweet home. Situated on a large 4,675 sq ft lot, the oversized front porch welcomes you to this beautifully updated home with hardwoods, high ceilings, crown molding, spacious kitchen and black and stainless steel appliances. Living room just off kitchen overlooks large backyard - perfect layout for entertaining. Home is just minutes away from bike and walking trail - a move-in ready gem! 

Stop by the Open House this Sunday (1/8) 2-5 pm! 



Welcome home to this picture-perfect lovingly remodeled ranch in one of Houston's most charming and convenient communities close to the Medical Center, Galleria, and Downtown! With formal living in front and a large den in back, the floor plan is great for families. No neighbors behind - just green space for a private school! Super quiet street at the back of the neighborhood - let the kids play in the street out front worry-free! Make this your new home today!

Stop by the Open House this Sunday (1/8) from 2-5 pm! 



GORGEOUS 4-bedroom family home on a large corner cul-de-sac lot. Chef's dream kitchen with granite counters opens to sunny breakfast room, large dining room, and huge great room. This beautifully maintained showstopper is truly a home sweet home! Make it yours today!

Stop by the Open House this Sunday (1/8) from 2-5 pm!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Renting Your Home for Super Bowl LI


With the upcoming influx of visitors to Houston for Super Bowl LI, I have received a lot of questions about renting out homes on Airbnb, or similar rental websites. While it's tempting to capitalize on this opportunity, there are several key issues to consider before becoming a "Host."

Before you list your property, you'll need to do a little research first. If you belong to a homeowner's association or co-op, review any rules and regulations to ensure short-term rentals are allowed. You'll want to contact your homeowner's insurance provider to see what is covered or excluded under your policy. It's also a good idea to let your neighbors know you'll be renting out your property that way you can address any concerns they might have before your guests arrive.

Keep in mind that Airbnb is just one of the many options for listing your property. Be sure to investigate other popular choices like HomeAway, FlipKey, and VRBO. After evaluating the listing options, requirements, and fees for each platform, you can select the one that best fits your needs. You can always list your home on a few websites to reach an even bigger audience. 

You'll also want to take a few precautions to ensure a successful rental experience. Set clear restrictions when listing your property, such as group size or no pets. In addition, a quick phone call can go a long way in screening potential guests before approving a booking. Select a strict cancellation policy so you're not left with an empty rental during Super Bowl weekend. Before your guests arrive, remove or secure all personal and valuable items. It is also recommended to forward or stop your personal mail during the rental period. Leave a binder that clearly states all the house rules and contains necessary instructions for any appliances, electronics, and security systems.  

In the end, you'll have to decide whether the extra work and potential risks are worth the extra cash. It might also be the start of a new side business. If you have any questions about short-term rentals, we'd be happy to assist at Why I Love Houston Properties. 

Happy Hosting, 

Kathlyn